This week, Microsoft rolled out a new Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14986 for PCs in the Fast ring, that brings a number of new features, as well as improvements to Cortana, Windows Hello, and new extensions in Edge, among others.
This build making Cortana awesome now lets you turn off your computer, change volume with voice commands to Cortana. You can also restart, lock, or put the system to sleep, and raise and lower your system volume with just voice.
Cortana also now let you control music playback and enables natural language compatibility for iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radiob that work on both “above the lock screen as well as below.” It also adds support for “What’s Playing”, try saying “Hey Cortana, What song is Playing?” and it will work for all apps playing music. As a bonus, it also remember last played music app. Try the following queries:
Play <Artist/Track/Title/Genre> on <AppName>
Play Drake on iHeartRadio Play Christmas music on iHeartRadio Play NPR Hourly News on TuneIn Play jazz music on TuneIn Play <Frequency/Call Letters> on <AppName> Play 90.3 on iHeartRadio Play KUOW on TuneIn
Chinese simplified is also now recognize, simply tap the music notes icon in the top corner of Cortana’s home page, and Cortana will listen to whatever music is playing and use Netease to tell you what song it is.
When, a PC is in ulocked and idle state, asking Cortana questions will result in a gorgeous full-screen optimized for far field viewing!
Students can sign-in Cortana using Azure Active Directory (AAD) identity instead of MSA. Just go to Cortana’s Notebook and “About Me” and sign in.
Enterprise Cloud Printers accessible via Settings -> Devices -> Printers & scanners will enable corporate users to discover corporate printers when on AAD joined devices when the IT admin deploys and configures the backend services.
Windows Game Bar now support 19 additional games in full-screen mode, and many more are coming. As always, just hit WIN + G to invoke Game Bar to capture a recording or screenshot. You can control this feature through Windows Game bar settings, “look for “Show Game bar when I play full-screen games” checkbox.”
Following games are available: “ARMA 3, Battlefield 1, Civilization V, Dark Souls III, Fallout 4, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Mad Max, Mafia 2, NBA 2K16, Overwatch, Star Wars: The Old Republic, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, The Binding of Isaac, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Terraria, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Total War: .WARHAMMER, Warframe, and World of Tanks.”
Windows Ink experience advancing to the next level with the following features:
- Resuming previous screen sketches. By default, when you open Screen Sketch, it’ll open a new screenshot, but you can now click the Resume button, that take you back to the sketch you were working when last closed.
- Windows Ink pen, pencil and highlighter flyouts now show a preview of what it would look like to ink with the currently selected color and width. We’ve also updated the flyouts so that they’ll no longer show what appear to be duplicate color entries when in high contrast, now support using the Esc key to close the flyout, and have returned the flyout to dismissing once you tap a color or change the width (rather than staying open until you manually close it)
- Windows Ink ruler now rotate in sub-degree increments when it’s moving with touch.
- Polishing your inking experience with cursor no longer shown while inking.
Updated Rendering Technology for many types of UWP app content now using same Windows.UI.Composition API that app developers have access to for XAML UWP app and shell rendering.
A new Narrator feature give you additional information about fonts, colors, line spacing, margins and more. “Press Caps Lock + F to hear, and continue to press Caps Lock + F to cycle through nine categories of information, use Shift + Caps Lock + F to move through these categories in reverse.”
- Narrator feature called ‘Context Awareness’ is now set to default level 2. Use Alt + Caps Lock + / to cycle through the different options. Zero means off for the feature.
- Pressing Caps Lock + 0 from Caps Lock + F in Narrator gives you advanced information about the item with focus.
- Also, an issue in recent flights where Narrator would only say “No item in view” when placing focus on the Start menu tiles is fixed now.
New Windows Defender dashboard make it easier to view and control Windows 10 device security and health features.
In the Registry Editor, you can now easily go up (Alt+ Up arrow), backwards (Alt + Left arrow) or forwards (Alt + Right arrow). Also a new entry point in the View menu, now let you customize font Registry Editor uses.
14986 now prefer USB Audio 2.0 class driver over third-party drivers, however following are not supported: “class driver does not support ASIO, as well WASAPI exclusive mode in certain applications.”
Improved Windows update experience, now prompt you to “restart now”, “Schedule”, or simply “Remind me later”, “which will not apply the update but offer you these options again.”
Windows Insiders with high DPI devices, such as Surface Book, will now see improved crispness in the text of a number of desktop apps that previously would display blurry – in particular Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap ins like Device Manager.
View 3D Preview app enable everyone to easily open and view 3D models inside of Windows and supports opening .fbx and .3mf file types. Simply launch View 3D Preview and select the open button and navigate to a supported 3D object on your computer to view, rotate around, and zoom in on the object.
Windows 10 in Asia adds improvements to Chinese and Japanese Input Method Editor (IME) including:
- Smart fuzzy matching for pinyin and updated Microsoft Pinyin IME candidate pane experience.
- New context menu for the IME mode
- Microsoft Pinyin IME now supports importing and exporting self-learned phrases.
- Wubi IME updates to support user-defined phrases: You can add custom phrases manually, or import and export custom phrase files. In the Wubi IME settings, click the “user-defined phrase” button to enter the custom phrase page.
- Line Mode for Chinese (Simplified) Handwriting.
- It’s now possible to remove text prediction candidates
- Improving the Japanese IME conversion accuracy
- Improved reliability and responsiveness
Windows Insiders can now use Skype Translator on calls to mobiles and landlines and communicate across languages, even if the call recipients do not have Skype.
Developers can also now use Desktop App Converter to gain access to UWP APIs and simplify app’s installation process with Windows 10 app packaging technology. As well as they can build customer segments and use the segments to create custom retargeting and reengagement ad campaigns for their UWP apps.
Additionally, “devs can use these segments to send push notifications.” Previously this ability was only available to Windows Insiders.
Those who are having problems when downloading the build 14986, “with the progress bar getting stuck at 0% for several hours, and then eventually resulting in an error with the code 80240031,” Microsoft has discovered the root cause of the bug, and has issued a workaround for those affected—and advises users to this troubleshooter KB971058.
Other changes, improvements, and fixes for PC
- We have improved the Windows Hello face which may require you to “Improve Recognition” to get recognized again. To do this – go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options and under “Windows Hello” and “Face Recognition”, select “Improve Recognition” to go through the Improve Recognition wizard.
- We updated the Taskbar’s context menu settings entry to now explicitly be called “Taskbar settings”, as that is where it pointed.
- We fixed an issue where the Virtual Touchpad’s left and right buttons might not work on some devices. We also fixed an issue where the Virtual Touchpad wouldn’t launch if the primary monitor was non-touch, and added the Virtual Touchpad icon to the Taskbar settings where you can Turn system icons on or off.
- We fixed the issue where apps such as Store, Photos, and People might launch on their own after your PC had been inactive for a period of time.
- We fixed the issue where navigating to Settings > System > Battery would crash the Settings app.
- We’ve changed the default state of the Handwriting Panel to be floating next to the text field, rather than docked at the bottom of the screen. If you prefer docked-mode, you can still select it by tapping the icon in the top right corner of the Handwriting Panel.
- We fixed an issue where using ~ to switch languages using the Thai keyboard when typing in Office apps, such as Outlook or Word 2016, might sometimes result in a hang.
- We’ve updated our migration logic, so that going forward from 14986 the default user’s numlock setting will now be preserved across upgrades.
- We fixed an issue where double-clicking on an Excel document to open it from File Explorer would crash Microsoft Excel.
- We fixed an issue where Windows Hello might get stuck “Looking for you”.
- We fixed an issue Insiders with Surface Dial may have experienced recently where rotating the Dial could result in unexpected beeps.
- We’re moving some things around in Storage Settings – stay tuned for future updates. For this flight, you’ll notice that the settings to change save locations has moved to its own page. We also fixed an issue where Storage Usage for the Other category might show an unexpectedly high number.
- We fixed an issue where the PowerShell entry in File Explorer’s File menu would sometimes be unexpectedly greyed out.
- We fixed an issue where the Clock and Calendar flyout in the taskbar wouldn’t launch when the display language was set to Chinese (Traditional) and the system was using the phonetic sorting method.
- We’ve updated the full screen Settings search results to now use smaller icons – we feel this delivers an overall more polished feel, as well as enables more search results to display on the page at a time.
- We fixed an issue where some notifications might draw too high or too low, and then be seen moving itself to the correct position.
- We fixed an issue where the outline incoming notification toasts could still be seen if notification banners as a whole for that particular app had been turned off.
- We fixed an issue Insiders may have experienced where the Favorites bar on desktop might appear empty, despite having items in the Favorites folder.
- We fixed an issue that could result in CPU throttling when idling on certain webpages with many gifs or looping videos in Microsoft Edge.
- We fixed an issue that could result in Alt + D sometimes not being able to set focus to the address bar in Microsoft Edge.
- For Insiders with PCs that upgraded to builds 14926-14959, some default power settings may have been lost and not recovered on subsequent upgrades. The effect of this causes devices to potentially use more power, change the power button behavior on tablets, etc. Starting with 14986, an attempt to detect this issue and re-apply the power settings will be made during upgrade. This attempt is a temporary process to help address this issue for Insiders, and will be removed once we’re closer to the Creators Update release.
- We’ve heard your feedback, and updated our Windows Error Reporting logic so that uploading crash data should no longer interfere with online game play, video streaming, Skype calls, or other network-intensive activity. Please keep an eye out for this if you experience any crashes and let us know how it goes.
- We fixed an issue resulting in Microsoft Studios games like Microsoft Sudoku, Jigsaw, Minesweeper, Taptiles, and Treasure Hunt potentially freezing at the splash screen on launch.
- We fixed an issue where, if the taskbar location was set to be on top, it was visible on the Welcome screens after upgrading.
Known issues for PC
- Using keyboard monitor hotkeys to adjust brightness won’t work as expected. Desired brightness change could be done via the Action Center or by going to Settings > System > Display.
- You may see a popup “Catastrophic Error” dialog when opening OneDrive folders. If you do, the workaround is to open an elevated Command Prompt or PowerShell window and enter “attrib -O <path to OneDrive failure that resulted in the error dialog>”.
- We’re currently investigating reports that DirectAccess isn’t working for some Windows Insiders.
- When using Microsoft Edge with Narrator, you may hear “no item in view or silence when tabbing or using other navigation commands.” You can use Alt + Tab when this happens to move focus away from and back to the Edge browser and then Narrator will read as expected.
- Hey Cortana, play <blah> on <AppName> doesn’t work immediately after installing the app. Wait 5 minutes for indexer to kick in and try again.
- Currently, the Windows Defender dashboard is primarily aimed at providing some minimal read-only status for Antivirus/Firewall, with some very limited functionality for interacting with the app. Here are some of the known issues with the dashboard to be aware of (not a comprehensive list):
- Doesn’t accurately roll up status of Pillars
- Doesn’t accurately show status when a 3P AV is on the machine.
- History is not yet available in the new app
- Advanced/Custom scans are not yet available in the new app
- Settings are not configurable through the new app
- Firewall control panel not launchable from new app
- Firewall settings are not configurable through the new app
Also, the company has released a new cumulative update for Windows 10 build 14393.479 via KB3201845. This build was originally offered to the Release Preview ring of the Insider Preview on November 29 for both PC and Mobile.
See the changelog below:
- Improved the reliability of mobile device management (MDM) disenrollment, Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM), Peripheral Component Interface and PowerShell.
- Addressed issue that causes excessive battery drain if you have a Chinese Input Method Editor installed and use Windows Hello to log in.
- Addressed issue with OLE drag and drop that prevents users from downloading a SharePoint document library as a file.
- Addressed issue with Super Floppy-formatted fixed media devices that are not recognized by Windows 10 Anniversary Update or accessible in Windows Explorer.
- Addressed issue that causes the System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) client to fail installation when a device is re-imaged using the SCCM task sequence.
- Addressed issue that causes the loss of optional component (OC) state information, including all Hyper-V virtual machines, after upgrade.
- Addressed issue that causes Windows Explorer to display information that’s inconsistent with what’s stored on the Floppy disk.
- Addressed issue that, after connecting a shared CD/DVD-hosted drive with no media inserted, causes some of the commands, like DIR and NET USE, to hang.
- Addressed issue where customers cannot use directory cache sizes greater than 64 KB.
- Addressed issue where Windows Explorer sometimes does not prompt for credentials when a user logs on using a Microsoft account.
- Addressed additional issues with application compatibility and Internet Explorer
Update 12/13: Microsoft is bringing Cortana to the Internet of Things (IoT) with the Windows 10 Creators Update.
Almost any device that is powered by Windows 10 IoT Core will be able to utilize the assistant. During the WinHec session, Microsoft detailed far-field voice support that is coming with the Creators Update. This new feature will allow Cortana to be activated within a distance of 13 feet despite ambient noise.
Microsoft is reportedly testing a new feature with a subset of Windows Insiders that involves a new fly-out menu for the OneDrive taskbar icon. Clicking the settings icons still opens the current menu, as does the new file explorer icon.
However, the feature can be activate on build 14986with following steps:
- Press the Windows Key + R to open the “Run” dialog
- Enter “Regedit.exe” (without quotation marks)
- Navigate to Computer > HKEY_CURRENT_USER > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > OneDrive
- After clicking OneDrive key within the editor, right-click in an empty space in the right-hand pane.
- Click on New then “DWORD (32-bit) V?alue” and name the new value”TeamSiteSyncPreview” (without quotation marks)
- Double click the newly created DWORD value and change the value from “0” to “1”
- Exit the Registry Editor.
- Restart your computer.